The Sunbury Plantation, located in the St. Philip parish of Barbados in the Caribbean, is a stunning piece of history that is to be seen to be believed. This beautiful old home features a wide selection of antique furnishings, historical carriages, and unique dining experiences.
Sunbury was originally a sugar plantation, that was built in the Oldbury on the eastern side of St. Philip in 1660 (during the 17th century). It has gone through many changes in that time and its current name was decided upon by the family that ultimately settled there and ran the plantation in 1781. It has been used as a tourist destination for many years now, drawing people from all over the Caribbean and beyond to see the elegance and history behind this plantation, as well as to eat the unique cuisine offered on-site.
Permanent Attractions and Exhibits
The attraction of the Sunbury Plantation is taking a tour of the great house itself. Open for guided house tours every day of the week from 9:00am to 5:00pm (the last tour will depart at 4:30pm), guests are strongly encouraged to learn about the house and its diverse history with the help of one of the knowledgeable tour guides that volunteer at the plantation.
The plantation house itself is a beautiful, huge white structure with a noticeable red roof that flies the Barbados flag.
The tour will lead guests through all of the rooms of the great house and will show them all of the artifacts located in the house, which have been placed strategically to add to the historical ambience of the house. The house also operates as a “period” museum, with time appropriate furniture, paintings, and artwork. At the end of each tour, the tour guides will leave guests on their own to explore the plantation great house on their own as well.
In the cellar of the plantation house is a collection of historic carriages, tools, and carts that were used during the time when the plantation was in operation starting in the 1600s. In fact, this is considered one of the biggest collections of carriages in the entire Caribbean area. These carriages predated the use of automobiles by many years and are an interested and well-preserved part of the history of Barbados.
In the kitchen, make sure to check out the nearly 200-year-old dining table, made out of mahogany. This majestic antique has fed people for two centuries and the history can be clearly seen on its face. It truly is a one of a kind piece of furniture. The majority of the furnishings located in the rest of the house are original, although some are replicas due to a fire that occurred and destroyed some of the home as well as a portion of the antiques. When possible, those antiques (including dinnerware and furniture) was hand chosen for its authenticity even when it wasn’t originally located in the house.
The plantation itself is also one of only four train stations in the entire parish of St. Philip. Guests should make sure to stop and check that out as well. It is a fascinating part of local history that shouldn’t be missed.
The plantation house is a hot spot for special events of all kinds, as the grounds and the great house itself is available to be rented out for weddings, receptions, parties, and more. Guests who are interested in booking the space for their special event should reach out directly to the staff for additional information about cost, availability, and any other necessary information. Catering is also available through the restaurant that is located on the grounds, offering brunch, cocktails, and lunch menus.
If a visit is lucky enough to correspond with the Planter’s Candlelight dining event, this event should not be missed. Guests will be led through a five-course meal the way that former residents of the house may have.
The plantation also hosts a variety of jazz evenings, where guests can come and hear live music while also taking in the beauty and atmosphere of the grounds. The staff maintains a very active Facebook page with a full, up to date listing of all of the events coming up.
The Courtyard Restaurant, located on the grounds of the plantation, offers a unique dining experience with a full menu (that can be viewed in advance on the Facebook page). They offer a variety of options for breakfast (omelets, hash browns, etc) and lunch (salads, fish cakes, etc) as well as spring rolls, samosas, and other small bites. They also offer tea and a full cocktail menu.
Sunbury Plantation, St. Philip, Barbados, Phone: 246-423-6270